In today’s world, we have so many choices available to us when it comes to self-care products. In a realm full of options, there is no exemption when it comes to deodorant. Majority of the products on the market are full of chemicals and toxins that override the supposed benefits they are to deliver. Unless we are aware of the consequences of using the harmful ingredients in conventional deodorant, we probably haven’t thought twice about which product to buy. The goal is to find a deodorant that smells amazing and is going to adequately mask any body odor, right? I hear you! However, in order to naturally care for our bodies, it’s imperative to educate ourselves on the importance of using a natural, plant-based deodorant.
How does deodorant work anyways?
Conventional deodorant is made with aluminum, a neurotoxin, which claims fame to keeping the armpits fresh. This is the ingredient you probably hear most about when it comes to the dangers of using conventional products. Interestingly, the purpose of aluminum is to prevent our pits from sweating. Let’s keep in mind it’s a natural process to sweat which is actually our body’s response in regulating body temperature as eliminating toxins. The aluminum salts in deodorants, such as aluminum hydroxybromide, aluminum chloride, aluminum zirconium, and aluminum chlorohydrate are pulled into the sweat duct cells (apocrine glands) which causes the cells to react by swelling. Think of your skin as a sponge, easily absorbing whatever is applied. Not only are there aluminum compounds, there are parabens, silica which is a skin irritant, and talc, a carcinogen.
Parabens are used as a preservative, making the product last longer on the shelves. Parabens mess with the body by playing a similar role to our estrogen hormones. This ultimately affects the body’s hormone balance. In throwing off the balance, consequences include cancers, birth defects and early puberty onset.
Silica is your source of irritation and itchiness. Majority of the time it’s contaminated with crystalline quartz, which is known to cause respiratory diseases and cancerous developments.
Talc, or hydrous magnesium silicate, provides the chalk, white appearance of the deodorant. This irritates the skin and is thought to contain carcinogens.
Together, all of these chemicals work to ensure the ducts are pressed closed, prohibiting perspiration. The cells then are contaminated with toxins and by closing the ducts, the body is trapping the toxins inside of us. Further, the neurotoxins found in conventional deodorant have been linked to breast cancer, bone formation disorders, seizures and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. While much research is still being conducted to understand the long-term costs, there is no reason to dismiss the harmful effects of the ingredients in conventional deodorant.
What does all- natural deodorant do?
Natural, non-toxic deodorant allows your body to continue with its natural sweating process. However, it changes the smell of the odor through the application of the essential oils, and natural extracts. Thus, you allow your body the natural processes it’s made to do without introducing any toxins or chemicals harmful to the body. Natural deodorant is free from chemicals, preservatives, artificial color and fragrances, and alcohol. The essential oils in the product are combined with baking soda, or magnesium, to shield against odor while the tapioca absorbs the sweat moisture for increased, long- lasting cleanliness.
Ever since I made the change to natural deodorant, I have been so impressed and I say it’s time for you to make the switch too! While not all deodorants out there work as well as some, majority of them leave you feeling fresh and smelling good all day long. Yes, even through those sweaty workouts! So, don’t worry, you won’t be led to any embarrassment from sweaty pits! But firstly, it’s important to understand that it’s going to take time for the body to detox the layers of build up from the prior use of conventional products. This shift is not only about changing your deodorant, its changing how you deodorize.
Making the switch
When switching to a natural deodorant, your body will need to detox. While, inconvenient, its best to allow yourself time to wear no deodorant at all for about 1-2 weeks. This allows the pores to “recover” and eliminate any stored toxins. In a sense, its flushing the toxins out through the sweat. While it is a process to detoxify, many brands provide you with the right, natural products you need in order to be on your way to a healthier self-care routine. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t go without wearing deodorant, just be sure to use the non-toxic natural if you do.
You can find lovely scents with invigorating blends produced with oils such as wild orange, lime peel, grapefruit peel, lemon, mandarin and bergamot essential oils. These oils promote a healthy, positive, confident mood to carry you through the day. If citrus isn’t your forte, there are ones with a woodier aroma infused with scents of fir and pine. Or how about trying ones scented with jasmine green tea and flowering blends. There are so many to choose from that it’s important to find one YOU enjoy using.